Jeff Fox was away from his home at 12218 112th Ave. when neighbors heard and explosion, and then saw flames rising into the sky shortly before 11 a.m.
"It just shook the house," said Kathy Wydeck, who lives four doors to the north. "Right after that the scanner went off. I went out side and saw flames and smoke rising."
Ron Green's house sits back behind the Fox home.
"There was a huge explosion," Green said.
He ran up to the house as his sister called 911.
"The door was already peeling," he said. "The whole back was already gone."
Firefighters from three departments responded to the scene and had the main body of fire knocked down within half an hour of the alarm.
Robinson Fire Chief Paul VanVelzen said his crews almost immediately went into defensive mode, meaning all firefighting was done from the exterior.
The house is a total loss, he said. Nobody was injured.
VanVelzen said the homeowner had returned from his third shift job, and then left the house with his dog to go look at a car in Muskegon.
Firefighters put out hot spots, and then sprayed the entire house with foam to douse any remaining embers.
Allendale and Grand Haven Township firefighters assisted Robinson at the scene.
Also assisting were the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, North Ottawa Community Hospital ambulance and the American Red Cross Canteen out of Holland.